US Patents

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Design Patents

Design patents protect the ornamental design of a functional item. They are useful for preventing infringers for copying design elements that can not be protected with a utility patent.

Although design patents cover non-functional, ornamental elements, the damages for infringing a design patent can be substantial.  In Apple v. Samsung, the Federal Circuit held that a patent holder may be entitled to damages equivalent to the profits for the product, and not just the profit apportioned to the element covered by the design patent.

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